Influencer Marketing, conceptually speaking, swings back to the very roots of marketing - i.e Word of Mouth Marketing. Influencer Marketing, the term, however, gained global interest & momentum since 2016, with of course with the outburst of social media influencers! Here’s a quick look at how the term has gained worldwide interest on Google. (Screenshot below)
To set the context, let’s however first transcend back in time to a more simple era when in a small town, an entrepreneurial individual or few would have started the first salon, a pharmacy or maybe a bar. How would they go about getting the good word out? Mostly via trusted friends and neighbours, perhaps by inviting some of the popular heroes, the sheriff or mayor to cut the ribbon. They wouldn’t need deep data on any of these influencers.
Now, flash forward to today, when data wars are being fought, brands are being built, glorified and destroyed, on social, all at scale, where customers come from different part of the country or globe. How does a brand go about getting Influencer Marketing right? The answer lies in keeping up with times.
Gone are days when Influencer Marketing was about getting topics trended on Twitter, or chasing other similar vanity metrics alone. Influencer Marketing is making sure that your brand gets talked about on social by the people that matter, and that when they do so in authentic ways, they influence awareness, buying decision or other positive actions for the brand.
Yep, through Smart Data on Influencers! But, first let’s break one of the biggest myths in Influencer Marketing in India: “Peter has more followers than Jupiter. Peter is a bigger Social Media Influencer!” Answer: Incorrect. A number of followers are an extremely important data point, but here, Jupiter very well could be more influential because of various other data points like category, context, engagement, audience demographics, language, geography, etc.
Data points that meet the eye only begin to uncover the influencers’ potential. The real value of a profile lies in a more detailed analysis of data, like knowing how people perceive the influencers posts ie - sentiment analysis of comments on their posts, like to dislike ratios, the number of complete views on videos, influencer’s true reach & impact - knowing for eg: what region of the country does the influencer create the most impact in, who are his/her followers, their age, hashtags or keywords they use for their content, categories the influencers belong to, and more. Influence is ever evolving, subjective & depends on what the brand is seeking.
Increasingly, we have seen brands looking to identify influencers and how they perform in regional languages. Since we are a country where only a meager 5 percent speak and understand English, to market at scale, language plays a key role, and breaking down data points further helps us. Sophisticated Machine Learning software can easily help categorise influencers based on language with a click of a button.
With ML and AI, the discovery of Influencers becomes a lot more automated and robust. Today, Micro Influencers & Everyday Influencers or Brand Advocates hold the power to create authentic chatter at scale. Finding those with the right passion points & brand affinities, by analyzing public social media data, is helping us broad base the number of influential influencers like never before.
Of course, Smart Data, helps brands also decipher cost advantages that come with each influencer, how to best optimize spends and receive the biggest bang for the buck. We’re also able to now further analyze & measure impact via influencers by capturing key data points.
The next trend in Influencer Marketing in India would be linking Influencers to Past Performance & Performance Marketing. [Performance Marketing is a comprehensive term that refers to online marketing and advertising programs in which advertisers, affiliates or publishers are paid, or paid extra, when a specific action is completed; such as a sale, lead or click.] Capturing Performance Data will be the next step in separating real influencer from the fake ones.
As it’s been said, “You can have data without information, but you cannot have information without data.” Having built out a network of 200,000+ Influencers from India, with deep data points on them, is already helping us at Chtrbox make more informed choices for brands. Identifying the right influencers across social media with smart data just scratches the surface. Tracking and measuring RoI, making Influencer Marketing programmatic, completes the cycle. But that’s for another post.